Putin and Xi Jinping Hold Talks, Affirm Need to Preserve Syria's Territorial Integrity, Sovereignty

BEIJING- Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China have affirmed the need to preserve Syria's territorial integrity, respect its sovereignty and independence, support political solution in the country and adopt necessary measures as to start reconstruction there.

A  joint Russian-Chinese statement signed by the two Presidents after their talks on Friday, said that Russia and China call for maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and for supporting political solution in the country by the Syrians themselves backed by the United Nations and the Geneva and Astana platforms, taking into consideration the results of the National Syrian Dialogue Congress held last January in Sochi.

 The two countries urged coordinating their plans to guarantee reconstruction in Syria, the statement added, according to the Syrian News agency SANA.

Russian-Chinese cooperation

According to the joint statement, Russia and China are determined to bolster cooperation in all areas.

"The sides express their intention to build up cooperation in all areas, and for this purpose they will be developing strategic trust-based dialogue at high and top levels and continue to develop mechanisms of bilateral intergovernmental, interparliamentary, interparty, interagency and interregional cooperation," the document says, Itar Tass reported.

According to the statement, Russia and China agreed to hold closer contacts on strategic security in the conditions of growing instability. "Amid growing instability and uncertainty in the world, the sides continue to develop contacts on strategic security, support intensive dialogue between the ministries of foreign affairs and step up bilateral coordination at the corresponding international venues," the statement says.

Pursuant to the document, the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation as of July 16, 2001, remains the conceptual basis for bilateral relations currently and in the long run. "The sides highly value the benevolent and friendly atmosphere near the Russian-Chinese border which became an area of peace and comprehensive cooperation along its entire length, which allows to provide stable and gradual development of bilateral relations of equal trust-based partnership and strategic cooperation," the document says.

According to the statement, the sides are ready to join their efforts to bring bilateral relations to a new, higher level.

Russia and China noted positive results of the regular meetings of the government heads, as well as of the sessions of five intergovernmental commissions between deputy prime ministers and corresponding sub-commissions and working groups. They also highly value cooperation between the Russian presidential administration and the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Military cooperation

Russia and China are also going to step up coordination between their armed forces:

"Russia and China intend to further build up strategic contacts and coordination between their armed forces, improve the existing mechanisms of military cooperation, expand interaction in the field of practical military and military-technical cooperation and jointly resist challenges to global and regional security," the statement runs.

According to the document, the two countries will use to the full extent the mechanisms of cooperation in the law enforcement and security, enhance interaction along these lines and jointly safeguard their security and stability.

Hamda Mustafa